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Stepping away from the culinary industry....for good...BUT!!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone!

I'm new to this site, and I'm looking forward to hearing some feedback and advice from you folks.

I've been in the culinary industry for 15 years. I pretty much worked my way up from dishwasher to Executive Chef in my timeframe.

Lately, each job I've had just bums me out.I feel like I've lost my passion, which I'm sure happens in most careers. I love to cook, but I'm just sick and tired of the field itself. It's the same $***, just different location. Makes me wonder how most people stay in their jobs.

 

Anyway, I'm looking to go a different path with myself. I do enjoy cooking as well as teaching. I've thought about being a teacher for the arts. it's the dream schedule everyone thinks of. I was wondering if there were other options I can explore or even other job positions in the field without having to start so far at the bottom?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 15

About 6 years ago I made the jump into institutional foodservice; I run the foodservice operations for 2 county jails.  The downside is that from a creative standpoint the job totally sucks.  Not much you can do with a very limited budget and with a menu created by a dietician to ensure we meet all the federal, state, and local nutritional guidelines.

 

The upside is that as a Foodservice Director/General Manager, I have a number of people beneath me, which means I rarely work weekends or nights which means my "quality of life" has gone up considerably.  I get to send a lot of time with my wife and 7 year old daughter, which is great.  The pay is pretty good and no more 80-90 hour weeks.

 

It's definitely not a job for everyone, but like you I was burnt out on the industry and needed to take a step back and with all my life spent cooking, there weren't many options available without having to start over which I couldn't afford.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I just feel with the rise of social media, FB, instagram, food network,yuppies,hipsters, and especially YELP; the field is more of a commercialized joke. They dont truly understand what it takes to be in the industry.

I want out because i'm tired of working with illegals. Lets face it. Its a reality to most and i've had my fill.
Another factor are these Chefs who think because they were on a reality show, their egos are so far up their colons, they lose touch of humbleness.
I love what i do, but I'm a grown man and refuse to continue on this path. Which is why i need other options. Its not so much the burnout. It's about respect.
post #4 of 15

I hear ya........

 

If it were just about cooking that would be great.......

 

I too left the industry because of the drama and found a dream job as a private Chef.

I get to create and cook anything I want. The clients is happy and that leaves me fulfilled.

 

You might want to look into private or personal Cheffing yourself.

post #5 of 15

Consider being a culinary instructor are a nearby school.

 

You still get to keep your love of cooking and "chefdom" - but rather than the blood, sweat and tears of the kitchen life, you get to prepare future chefs for it.

 

Since you know the downsides to this industry firsthand, you can relay some of that knowledge to the burgeoning kids coming through.

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaughingOctopus View Post

I just feel with the rise of social media, FB, instagram, food network,yuppies,hipsters, and especially YELP; the field is more of a commercialized joke. They dont truly understand what it takes to be in the industry.

I want out because i'm tired of working with illegals. Lets face it. Its a reality to most and i've had my fill.
Another factor are these Chefs who think because they were on a reality show, their egos are so far up their colons, they lose touch of humbleness.
I love what i do, but I'm a grown man and refuse to continue on this path. Which is why i need other options. Its not so much the burnout. It's about respect.

You do realize that these "illegals" are the backbone of the industry, right? Without them food service would fall apart. Who does all the work in the kitchen really? Respect goes both ways.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefMannyDLM View Post


You do realize that these "illegals" are the backbone of the industry, right? Without them food service would fall apart. Who does all the work in the kitchen really? Respect goes both ways.

The backbone in what sense, that's a broad statement. I wouldn't say food service would fall apart, it all depends on what/where you are talking about. 

 

In restaurants, maybe, but there are many other places where these "illegals" don't play much of a role in the kitchen, IMO.

 

Who does all of the work in the kitchen? the hard workers, I don't care what color they are, plenty of Americans I know do 90% of the work, especially in private clubs. 

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Agreed. I wouldnt say the backbone. But they consist of the majority of the workers. Lets be real, i havent seen a culinary arts grad applying for a dishwasher spot. But again im not making this a thread about them. Thats for another topic of discussion.
post #9 of 15

Let's try and keep this discussion on track with what the original post was.  The topic of illegal immigrants in the kitchen is a very hot topic with a lot of ways for this to go bad very quickly as a flame war starts.  I have my own opinons on the topic but this is not the place to discuss those (and no I won't say whether I would/could/do/or have hired illegals in the past so don't try and guess my stance).  The original post was not about the illegals debate and while the original poster did bring the subject up, I want to get this thread back on the original topic.  If that can't be done then we will look at shutting this thread down.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Apologies.

So what would be my options as far as going a different culinary route?

Private chef?
Institutional food service

What else is there???
post #11 of 15

Hello

 

I too am new to the site.

I too have lost my passion somewhat, tired of all the b.s. that surrounds good cooking.

Also owners who have no clue about the process of taking a raw product and creating something edible and delicious for the public

and not appreciating the time ,energy,and effort that goes into it.Customers and Sometimes owners alike want you to rush good cooking ,are you kidding me?

 

I thought of stepping away totally as well but step away to what?

post #12 of 15

Wow.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

The original post was not about the illegals debate and while the original poster did bring the subject up, I want to get this thread back on the original topic.  If that can't be done then we will look at shutting this thread down.

Censored.

Says a lot I suppose on the state of ( Americas?) kitchens. I imagine big cities in Canada have similar problems.

OP; If you can go back to school for something else like teaching you mentioned do it!

An option for you may be to start your own business. Sometimes you have to make your dreams....

If you can't do; teach. BC
post #14 of 15

Other options:

-teach in culinary school

-sales rep for either food or liquor

-get a chemistry degree and go into food manufacturing

-as said by Chefboy OG, open your own place so you can run it the way you want

-"center of the plate" specialist for Sysco, US Foods or other big food company (these are the corporate chef's of these places who do demos, create menus, consult on new restaurants all to get more of your company's product in the doors of places)

-there's a huge variety of "institutional" jobs available, from jails and hospitals, to business dining, college dining, and sports arenas

-attempt to create your own line of products; snacks, sauces, frozen entrees, etc.

-corporate chef or Director of Foodservice Operations (at least it keeps your removed from the BS of day-to-day work in the trenches)

-run a food truck

 

I'm not saying whether these are good or lousy options, just giving a few ideas of what is out there.

post #15 of 15

I also just joined this site, and it's actually amazing to me that so many people are in the same position as me. I felt like I was so alone, especially being surrounded mostly by people I couldn't relate to. I also wanted out of the industry, but still have no idea where to turn. 

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